- 25 October 2001
The central area of Antigua is picture-perfect, with a beautiful cathedral in the main plaza, charming café-filled, cobblestone streets, pastel colored homes and enchanting convent ruins, and still-active churches. Exploring Colonial-built Antigua is simply fun and relaxing, due to her slow pace, scores of antique, jade and tourist shops, as well as friendly locals, who greet visitors with a smile, but don’t push too hard to sell their ever-present rug, hammock or trinket.
Historically, Antigua is rich, as this was once one of the three great cities in the Americas, along with Lima and Mexico City. Evidence of this is obvious when viewing the ornate and grand architecture cluttering the city center. Too frequent earthquakes, which destroyed many churches and closed convents, led the Spanish to abandon the city, after a horrible shake in 1773, and move the capital to Guatemala City.